With fuel no longer a concern when it came to crunch time, fan-favorite Ross Chastain was able to take home his third checkered flag of the 2019 season and becomes more of a threat for the championship.
“This thing was “Haulin Ballz” all day. Nick Harrison, I miss that guy,” Chastain said in his post-race interview. “These guys brought a flawless truck. The only time we didn’t lead laps was when we pitted to keep our track position. Flawless day, flawless weekend. These guys set up the fastest truck, they get to drive home because we’re not on the budget today. We came and we won, so it’s a dream come true.”
Austin Hill won the pole during qualifying Friday afternoon with Ross Chastain on the outside pole.
Stage 1 Lap 1- Lap 15
The Gander RV 150 got off to an eventful start on the first lap, as Stewart Friesen’s truck snapped loose, wrecking and hit the Turn 1 wall. Friesen would wind up in last place.
Friesen commented added, “Not really sure (regarding the incident), spun around and made contact with the wall. We had a lot of family out here today and we are really disappointed. I’m usually optimistic, but not really sure right now.”
Just as soon as the race restarted on Lap 5, another caution flag flew for the No. 28 of Bryan Dauzat who spun in Turn 1. Bayley Currey also spun around after the Lap 8 restart but no caution was flown as the race remained green. Johnny Sauter would have to make a pit stop due to contact with Currey after the restart.
These were the only three incidents that took place in the first stage. Stage 1 eventually saw Florida native Ross Chastain take the stage win.
Stage 2 Lap 19- Lap 30
With some pit strategy, Harrison Burton stayed out along with Chastain, Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt, Christian Eckes and Todd Gilliland.
The second stage was not as eventful as Stage 1 but still had some notable incidents. Right after the green flag dropped for Stage 2, Creed hit the wall on the backstretch after slight contact with Eckes and Creed had to make a pit stop for right front damage.
Pole sitter Austin Hill also had his own issues, as clutch problems would eventually take him out of the race on Lap 22. More strategy broke out just a few laps later, that saw Chastain pitting from the lead along with Eckes and Tyler Ankrum.
By staying out, Burton collected a much-needed Stage win in hopes of making it into the playoffs, earning 10 playoff points.
Stage 3 Lap 34- Lap 60
Chastain was able to recycle as the race leader when the race went back green, as other drivers pitted under the Stage break. From that point on, even with saving a little bit of fuel in case of a green-white-checkered overtime, the Niece Motorsports driver had enough in the tank to take home his third checkered flag of the season, his first since Gateway.
“It all starts with the top of our team,” Chastain added in his post-race interview with MRN Radio describing the victory. “Al Niece (Team Owner), his motto is “Press The Attack”, he is a marine vet. He has done more in his life than I ever could imagine. This whole country could never thank a guy like him enough. But that’s what he instills in us. After everything happened in Iowa, we came back mad and won again. We were mad this week, losing Nick Harrison. Honestly, it’s not fair. Everyone goes to the lord when it’s their time.”
“But man it feels good (to win), yes it’s hard. I’ve had dominant trucks and not won, so to put it all together, it’s so tough. I’m just living my dream.”
With this win, Chastain earned the third victory of his Truck Series career. Chastain led twice for 54 laps and earned six playoff points.
- Ross Chastain
- Tyler Ankrum
- Harrison Burton
- Christian Eckes
- Brett Moffitt
- Matt Crafton
- Todd Gilliland
- Johnny Sauter
- Ben Rhodes
- Grant Enfinger
- Tyler Dippel
- Tony Mrakovich
- Jordan Anderson
- Gus Dean
- Austin Wayne Self
- Natalie Decker
- Mason Massey IV
- Spencer Boyd
- Ray Ciccarelli, One Lap Down
- Josh Reaume, One Lap Down
- Jennifer Jo Cobb, One Lap Down
- Norm Benning, Two Laps Down
- Bayley Currey, Two Laps Down
- Bryan Dauzat, Two Laps Down
- Sheldon Creed, Four Laps Down
- TJ Bell, 27 Laps Down
- Bryant Barnhill, 34 Laps Down
- Joe Nemechek, 36 Laps Down
- Daniel Sasnett, 39 Laps Down
- Austin Hill, 39 Laps Down, OUT
- Anthony Alfredo OUT
- Stewart Friesen OUT
Up Next: The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series inches closer to the start of their Playoffs by heading to one of their most famous races of the year, The Eldora Dirt Derby on Thursday, August 1.